This year our family has worked hard to counteract consumerism and instead teach virtues of true holiday spirit. While I want my little ones to enjoy the thrill of receiving gifts from their wish list; it's equally important for them to learn the magic of giving, creating traditions and being spiritually grounded. It's easy to get caught up in the commercial hoopla! Use these tips to add meaning to the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Celebrate The Joy Of Giving
We all look forward to the smiles that follow unwrapping beautiful boxes on Christmas morning (Hanukkah and Kwanzaa too)! We save, shop, sneak and stress to get our loved ones what they desire most. Hopefully as adults we've learned the joy of giving, as well as receiving. Plan activities that teach your little ones that sentiment. It's important for them to realize that other boys and girls may be going without. Find a local toy drive, group home, or church collecting items for the less fortunate. Donate toys, books and clothing that can be a blessing to those who desperately need a bit of holiday cheer. If finances are tight give your time. Join a group that sings carols at nursing homes or spend an afternoon volunteering at a local shelter. Be the gift!
2. Create Family Traditions Together
Fellowship, family, laughter and love - these are life's most special gifts. Make the season mean so much more by creating traditions with your children. Craft homemade ornaments or cards, bake cookies for your neighbors, attend a performance of the Nutcracker, see a holiday concert, go ice skating, host a Christmas Eve potluck, etc. Give your family something to look forward to each year that's invaluable, immaterial and doesn't require batteries.
3. Teach The Reason For The Season